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New RNLI review determines all-weather lifeboat is required at New Quay

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New Quay RNLI, Credit: RNLI/Danielle Rush

THE RNLI has announced today (November 8) that the 2021 review of the Cardigan Bay coastline concluded that an all-weather lifeboat will be stationed between Fishguard and Barmouth, with the most suitable location identified as New Quay. 

A 25 knot Shannon class lifeboat will replace the ageing 17 knot Mersey class lifeboat.

In 2016, a review of Cardigan Bay recommended an inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat would replace New Quay’s current Mersey class all-weather lifeboat (ALB). However, after a lengthy consultation process and a fresh review of requirements in Cardigan Bay, it was determined that an ALB was required to deliver the most effective search and rescue service in the area. This will complement Barmouth and Pwllheli’s Shannon class lifeboats and Fishguard’s Trent class all-weather lifeboat.

The RNLI is constantly reviewing its assets to ensure that the right assets are in the right place to deliver the most effective service. These reviews take into account  factors such as the changing trends in water use, local environmental change, search and rescue demand, the improving capabilities of modern lifeboats, and evolving technologies. It was decided the Cardigan Bay coastline should be reviewed in a consultation process which brought to light new intelligence and considered multiple stakeholder submissions which were scrutinised alongside the original data.

This summer the RNLI embarked on a month-long consultation, engaging with groups and individuals with an interest in the future of lifesaving provision in Cardigan Bay. Members of the Ceredigion Lifeboat Campaign, who worked closely with the RNLI to highlight issues and concerns, were a fundamental part of this engagement activity. Multiple submissions referred to the excellence of the Atlantic class lifeboat but also highlighted the changes in inshore and offshore water usage and potential government investment.

The RNLI is extremely grateful to all who took the time to contribute to this consultation.

The consultation also brought to light several potential changes and investments in the area which are likely to see an increased demand for an all-weather lifeboat. The changes include a 30% increase in aircraft operations due to a £1.3billion investment to one of the largest military live fire and exploratory technology range areas. In addition, the day trip passenger fleet is likely to expand, and government investments are planned to reinvigorate the local fishing industry. 

The Chancellor has also announced £10.8m for the plans in Ceredigion to develop the harbours, to be brought forward in the next financial year. Future investments in marinas and the coastal infrastructure will lead to a significant increase in visitors to the Cardigan Bay coastline.

All weather Lifeboat required at New Quay, Credit: RNLI/Danielle Rush

All these factors were considered by the RNLI Executive Team and the Trustees. Their conclusion was that these additional factors when considered warranted support to the Lifesaving Operations Director’s recommendation and decision.

John Payne, Director of Lifesaving Operations for the RNLI says: “I would like to thank all those who have supported the RNLI and openly consulted with us as well as all of the volunteers and staff who have continued to operate the lifesaving service from New Quay during this period of consultation and since 2016.

“The decision about the most appropriate type of lifeboat for the New Quay area was a marginal one. An Atlantic 85 would bring greater speed and agility, getting to casualties faster. However, given the levels of investment into the coastal communities, the longer-term plans for opening up fishing grounds (resulting in increased fishing activity) in addition to marine tourist activity from New Quay harbour itself, it is my professional opinion that an all-weather lifeboat is the better class of lifeboat for this area and the wider Cardigan Bay. This decision has been recommended to the Executive Team and supported by the RNLI Trustees at the recent board meeting held on the 3rd November.

“We realise this has been a challenging time for all at New Quay who have done a sterling job of continuing to save lives at sea whilst faced with uncertainty about the future. Thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute to the consultation, allowing us to take a much more holistic view of the lifesaving effect in Cardigan Bay and the numerous factors that influence that.

“Through an open and transparent consultation process, it became clear that an all-weather lifeboat is required in Cardigan Bay due not only to external factors but to the role New Quay lifeboat plays in providing all-weather support to the whole of Cardigan Bay in its entirety.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager says: “I could not feel prouder of the way the crew have continued to save lives during this period of uncertainty. It has been a difficult time for us all, but I have been heartened to see the RNLI working alongside our community to make this complex decision which I believe is the right one for the future of New Quay RNLI. The RNLI has listened attentively to the people who live and work in our community and I have nothing but praise for this new process.”

Richard Taylor, Ceredigion Lifeboat Campaign Chair welcomed the news: “CLC have worked alongside the RNLI to highlight a multitude of factors, which we firmly believe indicated an all-weather lifeboat was the best possible option for New Quay. The support we’ve had from the community has been tremendous and we’d like to thank everyone for their unwavering support throughout this process. The consultation enabled us to work together and gave us a voice to share our findings. The RNLI have listened to the many valid and important reasons why an all-weather lifeboat is required. This is a really fantastic day for the RNLI in Ceredigion.”

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Community

Council recognised for its work on domestic violence

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In the last year nearly 2,880 people in Carmarthenshire reported being a victim of domestic abuse.

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has once again been recognised for its work to combat domestic abuse.

It has achieved the White Ribbon UK accredited status for the second time running and departments will continue to work to raise awareness around domestic abuse and to contribute to ending male violence against women.

In the last year nearly 2,880 people in Carmarthenshire reported as being a victim of domestic abuse.

The White Ribbon campaign is a global initiative that encourages people, especially men and boys, to individually and collectively take action and change the behaviour and culture that leads to abuse and violence.

Domestic abuse affects both sexes with the largest number of violent incidents involving men against women. 

To show its commitment County Hall in Carmarthen will be lit up in purple on White Ribbon Day on November 25 and the White Ribbon flags will be flying in council buildings at Llanelli and Ammanford.

A message will also be printed on staff payslips signposting them to support channels.

Carmarthenshire County Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Rural Affairs and Chair of the Safer Communities Partnership, Cllr Ann Davies, said: 

“I am pleased that we were again successful in receiving accreditation from the campaign and recognising the work we have done and also plan to do going forward as part of our commitment to ending domestic violence. The figures in the last 12 months are still too high and that is those that have come forward to seek support. The pandemic has seen a significant rise in the number of referrals so it is vital that we do whatever we can to encourage people not to remain silent and speak out and seek support.”

Support and advice for anyone affected by domestic abuse is available by calling Live Fear Free on 0808 80 10 800.

For local advice you can contact Threshold (Llanelli) on 01554 752 422; Calan DVS (Ammanford) on 01269 597 474 Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service (CarmDAS) on 01267 238 410 who provide support to both men and women 9am-5pm.

More information on the campaign can be found on the White Ribbon website

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Community

Let’s get digital – Ceredigital

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Internet of Things

A NEW section, ‘Ceredigital’ dedicated to digital services, is now available on Ceredigion County Council’s website.

Ceredigital aims to provide clear information upon how digital technology can be used to support business growth, the economy, the quality of life for residents, tourism and the environment.

It covers a range of work and projects that the Council is currently involved with to improve the provision of digital technology across the county.

Information on the following services is included in the new section:

  • Broadband
  • Mobile
  • Digital Skills
  • Public Wi-Fi

It also includes information on the creation of a LoRaWAN network that the Council has been creating across the county which will accelerate the ‘Internet of Things’ innovation within the region; an open network used to improve business efficiencies.

Councillor Clive Davies, Digital Champion for Ceredigion County Council said: “Having access to affordable and reliable high-speed broadband and mobile connectivity has quickly become essential for everyone. The last two years have seen more people working from home than ever before, and the only way many of us have kept in contact with friends and family is through online catch-ups. It can be confusing and time consuming when you have connectivity issues and don’t know what support is out there.

“I’m very happy to announce that this new section is available. This resource can assist residents and businesses in finding out how to improve connectivity, funding that is available to do this, brushing up on digital skills, as well as providing details upon fixed and wireless projects that are currently being undertaken with Ceredigion.

With a county-wide LoRaWAN Internet of Things network, the largest in Wales, now is the time to focus on data innovation. This is no longer the gift of large organisations, or so called “Smart Cities”, we have the solid foundations of a rural smart network available right now, that can enable data driven decision making to take place right here in Ceredigion, enabling efficiency savings, and new product offering and opportunities as we recover from COVID-19”.

So, if you or your business is not reaching its digital potential for one reason or other, head over to Ceredigital to see what options are available to you right now.”

The new Ceredigital section can be found here: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/business/ceredigital.

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Community

Helping you to make a difference in your community

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Ceredigion Rural

THE CYNNAL y Cardi Local Action Group is launching a new Grant Fund, as part of the Cynnal y Cardi LEADER scheme, which will support small scale LEADER activity in Ceredigion.

The fund will provide small-scale financial revenue to support pilot projects, feasibility studies, facilitation, networking activities and training and mentoring ideas. Applications are welcomed from organisations in the third, public and private sectors. They must meet the criteria and priorities of the Local Action Group.

The Grant Fund will focus on the following priorities from the Cynnal y Cardi Local Development Strategy:

  • supporting activity with the aim of strengthening opportunities for developing Ceredigion’s circular economy
  • supporting early intervention for the development of pre-commercial activity with the aim of developing entrepreneurial activity
  • strengthening community resilience activity with a focus on the role of Town and Community Councils in supporting and engaging with their communities
  • developing opportunities for re-engaging people and reinvigorating community activity following COVID-19 and piloting innovative uses for community facilities

The Cynnal y Cardi LEADER Grant Fund, which is administered by Ceredigion County Council, is supported through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

Councillor Rhodri Evans, Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Economy and Regeneration, said: “We understand that COVID-19 has made the past two years a tough time for the county, and in light of the pandemic, the priorities for Ceredigion’s Local Development Strategy have been reviewed in September 2020. This new grant scheme provides opportunities for us to tackle the issues and build on the opportunities following COVID-19 within our communities in order to strengthen our resilience. I urge you to take full advantage of this opportunity.”

The first closing date for submitting your applications is 17 January 2022. Submissions are welcome in Welsh or English. You will need to discuss your ideas with the team. Contact the team by email at cynnalycardi@ceredigion.gov.uk or visit www.cynnalycardi.org.uk for more information.

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